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Dead Sorceress Queen beckons, to the Megadungeon!

Abomination Vaults

The Abomination Vaults megadungeon created by a 500 year old dead sorceress queen beckons, a group of unassuming adventurers answers the call.

This adventure is being run in Foundry VTT using Abomination Vaults adventure path created by Paizo, who just released an official premium content module that is incredibly made, and absolutely worth a purchase for any virtual tabletop GM! The official adventure path is purchaseable at: https://paizo.com/

A New DM’s Abomination Vaults adventure path Campaign Log that will be updated and added to: A story about a group of random unassuming adventurers who ended up in the small fishing town of Otari that lives on the Starstone Isle in the shadow of the metropolis of Absalom, eager to make their way in the world, who began a journey investigating some old ruins, that soon realized their journey would soon take a turn for the dark, the dead, the restless, and the horrifying.

I digress, first things first, let us meet our cast of brave, and some would say foolish, adventurers who have chosen to answer this call:

Glattmier Shatterfall, the resident Cleric of Sarenrae.
Tigra, the Catfolk Monk Duskwalker
Rayla Crossflame, The Elf Rogue and coffee addict.
Zarezzi Copperskull, Kobold Wizard Eldritch Researcher and purveyor of fine coffee.
Ridgeley ‘Cannonball’ Clayton, Human Swashbuckler and Jack Sparrow aspiring sailor.

The Prelude:

Nearly 500 years has passed since the evil cannabalistic sorceress Belcorra’s exile from Absalom, and family of openly dark worshippers to the outer god Nhimbaloth. After her exile and family’s destruction, she survived, plotting a long running plan for revenge for what had been done to her and her family. It has been over 500 years since her defeat at the hands of the original adventuring party sent to end her once and for all, the “Roseguard”. The Roseguard was sent forth, to take down the evil sorceress in her ruins, where unbeknownst to the world, she had constructed a large weapon of sorts disguised as a lighthouse, the “Gauntlight”. For a time, adventurers picked over the ruins and looted the ruins. It is believed that the ruins are now no longer a source of significant treasure or danger.

However, the spite and malice of the evil sorceress has festered over the centuries since, and the belief that she is no longer a danger is false. Two years ago, on the 500’th anniversary of her family’s exile from Absalom, her spiteful ghost awoke deep beneath Gauntlight Keep. Unknown to the rest of the world, the lighthouse and surrounding ruins were only the highest level of a massive complex filled with malicious creatures and unspeakable horrors: Belcorra’s Abomination Vaults. Belcorra is back, and she hungers for revenge, not only against Absolom but also Otari and it’s founders, the heroes who killed her! She now bides her time, and rebuilds, re-energizing Gauntlight and reasserting her dominance over the various horrors still living and thriving within the vaults.

Oct. 11, 2021 – Session 1:

Wrin Silvinxi, the local Tiefling Astrologer, tarot reader, afficionado to the stars above and helpful patron haunted by spectral visions sends out letters to our intrepid adventurers. Through a long discussion, departing the local histories and tales of Otari and ruins of Gauntlight, hires our party for a total of 50 gold pieces to explore Gauntlight, desperate to find out whether or not there is any merit to her fears, since it’s started glowing over the last few weeks for the first time in centuries.  Two years ago, was 500th anniversary of death of wicked cannibalistic sorcerer “Belcorra Haruvex” by the Roseguard Adventuring Party. 

Wrin Silvinxi, Tiefling Astrologer
Wrin Silvinxi, Tiefling Asrologer

It is believed that she was attempting to weaponize the power of an outer god “Nhimbaloth” as it was rumored that Belcorra chose to settle here, as Nhimbaloth’s influence was believed to remain on the Fogfen swamp after the outer god came into contact with the earth somewhere in the area.  All of her descendants were banished from Absalom which was also lifted two years ago.  The Roseguard Party retired after Belcorra’s destruction, and created the town of Otari in rememberance and honour of their fallen Rogue, Otari Ilvashti.

For our new adventurers, 50 Gold pieces was all too enticing of a reward, and they take up the quest, eager to head towards Gauntlight just a half hour north through the woods in the heart of the swamp. The party makes it to the ruins, and enters the outlying guardhouse building, running into and killing some Mitflits who were trying mischieviously to convince them to consume their “grey piles” of dung. Mitflits are a fey-type creature, similar to a Gremlin, little tricksters mostly. They made their way across a bridge that they soon discovered was rigged to collapse if more than one person had their weight on it, and went forward into the main decaying building of the ruins.

Along the main hallway inside the main door, they discover another band of Mitflits, and giant maggots which they are trying to train and use as soldiers. Making their way into a side room, they find signs of the presence of a River Drake and were suddenly under attack from some Giant Flies that managed to inflict a few of them with Fly Pox.  Performing a search of the main hallway, they find a destroyed teleportation circle that has had all of the inlaying Silver gouged out of it, and discover the circle long ago was damaged beyond repair.  It is at this point unknown where the circle leads, but hints are that there may be more of them to find, and some may even be active. 

Proceeding past a corpse of a giant frog that a pair of giant maggots burst out of, they make their way into another room with a collapsed ceiling and find it is haunted by the spirits of a group of dead Stonescale Kobolds. They proceed to assail the party’s minds, attempting to bring them down. Our group of intrepid heroes in the making manages to free them from their torment and find some treasure in the form of 3 gold, 20 silver, a box with components for crafting a caltrop snare, a wolf fang talisman, and a vial of black adder venom with the word “YUM” clumsily written on it..  At this point our heroes were feeling like this venture was turning into a bigger job than they foresaw, and headed back to town to rest/rememorize and attempt to help fight off Tigra’s Fly Pox disease…

18 Oct 21 Session 2:

On way back to town from their first foray into the ruins thought to be long abandoned, our heroes discovered many pests have made their homes there. They are met by the head druid of Stone Ring Pond, a place of worship for Druids, rangers, and naturalists of all sorts. Her name is Worliwynn, a friendly little gnome woman, that it appears wants our adventurers to spread a good word for her people with the townsfolk. The relationship has been strained between Otari and the druids following an event that occurred some 30 years ago. She proceeds to tell our heroes the tale:

“I took over here for the druids some years back, specifically to salvage our relationship with Otari, after i heard about the tragedy that happened.  You see, our last leader that was here before myself, Jaul Mezmin, it turned out, had contracted Lycanthrope and no one knew, this was some 30 years ago now..  He kept it very well hidden, even from the other priests.  Well, He lost control one night, and slaughtered half a dozen locals before the druids here managed to drive him over the cliffside into the ocean below.  We never did find his body.  It took awhile, years actually, but word finally reached me, and I came to Otari as quickly as i could to try and repair the damage he had done to all of the Gozrens reputation.  I’ve turned things around enough that the township doesnt hate us, but they still dont love us either.  No one here really had any way of knowing what had befallen Jaul.” 

“Theres still a few that are quite angry that I dont know will ever forgive us for the damage he did, like poor Keeleno down there running the Otari Market, can’t say I blame him though.  After all, Jaul did kill his wife Ayla.. To this day i still patrol nightly to make sure we don’t have anything like werewolves around here, but just between you and me, im not convinced that Jaul died that day.. Who knows, after all it HAS been 30 years.. On the slim chance he did survive, he may be living somewhere in those old ruins out there that you come from.  But what am i saying, that was YEARS ago..”

Worliwynn, happy to see some new adventurers in town, gives our heroes a couple minor healing potions on good faith. They continue to town, and discover there’s an election going on.  They see the mayor (Mayor Oseph Menhemes) and one of his daughters who also functions as his assistant, walking through town greeting everyone and being very friendly, (maybe too friendly?) doing the politician thing, smiling at people, commenting on cute babies preparing for the upcoming mayoral election, offers anyone scholarly to come by to tutor his children if they happen to be looking for any work.

Yinyasmera, Otari Thieves Guild Leader
Yinyasmera, Otari Thieves Guild Leader

The party continues toward Wrin’s Wonders and passes by the smithy, “Blades for Glades”.  They meet the blacksmith, Carman Rajani, who appears hungover, rumored to be a drunkard and a gambler, but nevertheless a great blacksmith.  Our heroes learn that he has run against the mayor before in the past, but thinks that the mayor is cheat/thief.  A sword belonging to the Rajani family, specifically the fighter from the original Roseguard “Vol Rajani”, was taken by the mayor as he funded the expedition to the ruins years ago to recover the sword.  Through the discussion, they learn that the “Cooperative Blade” has become a symbol of good luck for the town of Otari and is on display at the Dawnflower Library. 

As their conversation comes to a close, Yinyasmera, (who they find out is the local thieves guild leader) introduces herself she teases the blacksmith about his gambling debts and invites the party to the Crook’s Nook to discuss a job offer.  It is rumored that Carman Rajani is not well liked by the town and owes the Crook’s Nook a fair bit of coin. Yinyasmera tells them that the Mayor has offered to sell the sword back when being pestered to give his family’s bloodlines blade. He also supposedly raises the price as soon as the blacksmith can scrounge up what he asks for.

They continue to Wrin’s shop (Wrin’s Wonders), sell her some of the goods, procured in the ruins, and proceed to update her on progress so far.  Wrin seems incredibly fascinated by the story of the Kobold spirits, and she warns our heroes “gravely” to be careful, there may be more haunts or other similar encounters!

At this point, our group breaks off to go to different places. Rayla and Zarezzi go to Odd Stories, and get a side quest from him to keep an eye out for any rare old books, giving them a long list of titles, offering to pay 5 gold for every bulk of books recovered from the ruins.  He then mentions hearing about some missing people and that they should check at the Crook’s Nook.  Zarezzi decides to spend an hour doing research with his master Morlibint, who runs Odd Stories, learns a spell and learns he can special order spells ahead of time. 

Tigra stays with Wrin and doesn’t discuss what they were doing, but comes back with this “cat-that-ate-the-canary-look” and Zarezzi doesn’t need crystal ball to know what they were doing, wondering if they should check their horoscopes.  Cannonball heads to the Otari Fishery and made some friends there, particularly with the owner Tamily Tanderveil.

Glattmier went to the Dawnflower Library and met the high priestess the halfling cleric Vandy Banderdash.  There was a “pulling/calling” of the sword on display to Glatmair.  He inquired and the priestess told him it’s the Rajani sword, but on loan from the mayor.  Vandy quietly suggests to Glattmier that it would be better suited in the party’s hands trying to do good for the town in her personal opinion.  She suggested maybe trying to buy it, but the blacksmith said the last offer of 200 gold wasn’t enough.

As the night wears on, everyone meets up at the Crook’s Nook (base of the thieves’ guild) and meets with Yinyasmara about a job finding missing people.  She also has an interest in Crossflame’s talents and gives our heroes a nice seafood dinner, despite Rayla giving her the cold shoulder. Yinyasmera offers our heroes 50 gold pieces for a reward if they can find out what happened to her 4 missing “employees”, and a bonus if they can bring them back alive, although she already feared the worst.  Their names are Gorul Vetters, Shad Nunder, Ziskilly Theed, and Astram Anwir. Having a few new tasks, our heroes decide after a long first day exploring the ruins, to settle in for the night, unsuspecting of what else lay just around the corner..

The Dawnflower Library
The Dawnflower Library